Earlier this month Kiwibank announced it will launch another set of FinTech startups onto the global stage with its second FinTech accelerator. The inaugural FinTech accelerator resulted in several Kiwi FinTech start-ups gaining vital support, funding and expertise to build, launch and expand their products in New Zealand and world markets.
Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock said the success of the first accelerator had encouraged Kiwibank and accelerator partners Callaghan Innovation and Creative HQ to launch version two of the innovative programme.
“The first accelerator saw exciting new Kiwi companies such as Sharesies, Accounting Pod and Tapi successfully launched to market."
“With the second accelerator, we’re looking to help even more startups capitalise on what is a $1 trillion global FinTech opportunity, and to further grow New Zealand’s FinTech ecosystem.”
The First Accelerator's Success
The inaugural Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator resulted in:
- Sharesies achieving $1 million in investments and 5000 users in just eight weeks; full funding gained four weeks before the programme’s investment showcase “Demo Day"
- Accounting Pod and Tapi (formerly Flatfish) achieving full funding and on track to crack $1 million annual revenue targets
Mr Brock said V2 of the accelerator would take on an even stronger global focus. “This time we want to have a strong international flavour and we’re targeting exciting overseas ventures interested in basing their FinTech operations here in New Zealand." “There’s strong interest from startups in China, Korea and elsewhere to take part."
"It’s a win-win, given that New Zealand is perfectly placed to take a lead in FinTech globally by attracting the best and brightest overseas talent and capability to help us take our own FinTech ecosystem to the next level.”
About a quarter of the 12 startups to be selected for the accelerator could come from overseas, Mr Brock said. “Quite apart from the ability for Kiwi startups to experience the thinking and technology being applied in FinTech overseas, the global networking potential alone will be invaluable.”
Investment in Chinese FinTech was NZ$9.2bn in 2016 and it is home to the four most valuable FinTech companies in the world (Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Lufax, JD Finance and Qufenqi). There are more than 400 FinTech startups in South Korea with more than NZ$120m invested in FinTechs in 2016. Globally NZ$26.3bn was invested in FinTech companies in 2016.
Sharesies founder Sonya Williams said:“We got a huge amount out of being in the accelerator – mentorship, a space to work, great corporate support. But by far and away the biggest benefit was that the accelerator gave us the start date and support we needed take Sharesies from an idea and turn it into a successful business."
"The company is never going to get off the ground until this leap of faith is taken and we got that from the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator”
The Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator will open for applications on October 2 and the 14 week pro-gramme will begin in February 2018 and finish with a Demo Day in May 2018.
Creative HQ CEO Stefan Korn said: “Being able to run another FinTech accelerator with Kiwibank and Callaghan Innovation is an excellent step in the right direction to put Kiwi FinTech on the map globally and to establish Wellington as New Zealand’s hub for innovation in the finance sector.”
Applications for the 2018 Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2.0 are now open! Click here to apply or for more information on New Zealand FinTech, head to nzfintech.kiwi. You can also read more on NZ FinTech companies making it big on the FinTech Talk section of inner.kiwi.
| A Kiwibank release || September 26, 2017 |||